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TuscBDD, partner agencies kick off month-long celebration

| March 4, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 4, 2024) – The local agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities are coming together to celebrate DD Awareness and Advocacy Month here in March.

TuscBDD’s Chris Sapp and Keri Silverthorn stopped by the station recently to promote the activities and events that will be taking place for the occasion. The board is hosting a state Advocacy Day watch party at its headquarters in New Philadelphia next Tuesday. Then on March 28th, it’s their yearly pancake breakfast and Better Together Awards ceremony.

“We’re so excited every year to do that, to be able to honor people in our community who employ people with disabilities, work with people with disabilities, have disabilities,” Silverthorn said. “Our commissioners once again will be judging those and selecting our winners.”

The Tuscarawas County Rockets have their Community Basketball Game on March 20th at Dover Memorial Hall, and the following morning NewPoint Community Church is hosting illusionist Cody Clark and his DD-centered magic show.

“His topic is about when you’re a teenager and you’re coming into adulthood, how that’s such a big time in any person’s life, let alone whether you have disabilities or not. He talks a lot about how that went in his life and what people can do to support people with disabilities going through that phase of life and through adulthood.”

The local FANS Network – short for Friends, Advocates, and Neighbors – is taking its message of inclusion into area schools this month. They’re partnering with the Autism Society of Ohio to provide books promoting kindness, inclusivity, and acceptance to every First-grade class in Tuscarawas County.

“We call it our Book Blast program, and it is through a grant that was obtained by Nicole Donant-Moore of our FANS Network. We’ll be going around to the classes reading those books to the little ones and talking about inclusivity and just being a friend to all.”

It all kicks off tomorrow with a dine-to-donate fundraiser at the New Phila Chipolte. That’s from 4 to 8 pm to benefit the Starlight School. Reservations are required for the watch party, pancake breakfast, and magic show and can be made by calling Sapp at 330-339-9769.


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